MLS Expansion: Leiweke makes pitch for Miami stadium

Miami residents got the latest pitch from David Beckham’s group for a soccer stadium, a $300 million plan for a 25,000-seat stadium in the Overtown neighborhood of the city. Tim Leiweke, who brought Beckham to the LA Galaxy a decade ago, was among the Miami Beckham United presenters at a town hall at the Overtown YWCA on Wednesday.

Leiweke told the town hall that the plan called for the stadium to open in 2021. MLS had originally hoped for the stadium to open in 2018, giving the league 24 teams. LAFC will go it alone next season, forcing the league to field only 23 teams and requiring at least one team to have a bye each weekend.

Miami Beckham United has been seeking for more than three years to get a stadium project off the ground. Deals at three sites -- PortMiami, downtown Miami and Little Havana, next to Marlins Park -- collapsed. Miami Beckham United then purchased two pieces of private land covering six acres for roughly $19 million. All that is left is to buy the third plot of land from Miami-Dade County.

Parallel to Miami Beckham United's stadium search, it has sought out a new investor. The arrival of Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner and media mogul Todd Boehly has accelerated efforts to reach an agreement on the third plot of land.

The Miami Herald reported that issues covered at the town hall included jobs for local residents -- 50 permanent jobs -- and parking -- or the lack of thereof. Miami Beckham Group is framing the lack of parking facilities as the way to go for the future big events.

It proposes fans use public transportation, ride-sharing, shuttle buses from area parking garages, water taxis or dinner-cruise boats to get to its soccer stadium.

1 comment about "MLS Expansion: Leiweke makes pitch for Miami stadium".
  1. Quarterback TD, May 18, 2017 at 11:28 a.m.

    This could work only if the stadium is next to the subway. The underused subway in Miami is mostly empty except on Miami Heat night. However these investors do not know their audience and assume people in Florida don't like to drive when all they do is drive for everything even if it's 1/2 a block away. Clubs like New York Red Bulls is strategically located next to a main train system and that main train system also has parking so it works well. I can see this struggling base on false assumptions and if Stadium is not near the subway.

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